The Dry Bones of Brittany

Bonjour From Brittany

Containing the bones of the dead within
an ossuary – a receptacle which could range from a simple stone casket to an
entire elaborate chapel – was an ancient practice once quite widespread in the
Near East and Europe; the role and nature of an ossuary being heavily influenced
by a combination of social factors and religious beliefs. In Europe, they were
a simple solution for handling the problem faced by having limited burial space
for the dead and served as a useful marketing tool for the teachings of the Church.

In the early Middle Ages, burial grounds
were established against and around parish churches but inevitably, given the
relatively short life expectancy of the time, these plots, most of which
contained large common graves, were soon filled. Sometime around the 14th
century, it became common practice for local churches to clear their burial
grounds to create much needed…

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6 thoughts on “The Dry Bones of Brittany

  1. When I was a young lad (1970’s), my father was stationed in Germany. On one of our family roads trips to Austria we stopped at a medieval church. Behind the Chapel they had an ossuary with bones stacked floor to ceiling. I had never seen anything like that before. I had forgotten about it until I read this.

    Liked by 1 person

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